Trying to learn Mindfulness: My beginning

Stop the bandwagon, I want to get on!

One of the reasons I wanted to start this blog was I needed a space to record what I was doing. I am increasingly aware that what I enjoy the most about drawing, is the way it lets me experience my own life in a more focused way; really looking at my surroundings, ways of responding to what I see and feel and a way to capture my feelings. For a long long time I have been bogged down by getting it perfect. If I’m doing a life drawing, it has to be exact. I have to capture everything in front of my exactly as I see it or it’s a failure. The pressure of being this perfect has caused me to not want to even start. I know that art is a process, the final images is built up of layers the artist creates through many different decisions, following what their own instinct/ experience is guiding them to choose as they go through their process. I KNOW this and yet…my mind cannot start for fear of being lost and getting it ‘wrong’.

I like to go onto a location and sketch what’s around me and I like to go off script when I do manage it, adding my own imaginative details, making it my own. I don’t make time for this often, it’s a habit I’ve been trying to cultivate for years but my comfort zone doesn’t seem to extend into this area and the habits never stick. It’s so much easier to just snap a photo right? Right, which is why I have a ridiculous amount of photos I have rarely used to draw from.

I have to change. Which is where mindfulness comes into play. I’ve been looking into it for a while, and by looking into I mean reading random posts in pinterest…I read the book ‘Flow’ by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi which seemed to cover some principles of it, looking at how our lives are shaped by where our attention is focused. I signed up to a free online course in Mindfulness and got to week 4 before I stopped making time for it and just gently let my hand fall open and allowed it to drift away from me.

So frustrating!

What I want to achieve is to be more aware of when and where my attention drifts, to change my attitude and achieve some more self-management so I can finally achieve those goals I’ve been setting myself. To stop over thinking and analysing everything that passes through my mind. The fear of change I think is one of life’s biggest stumbling block and boy, does it have a hold of me! I’m so comfy just talking about my want of change, sitting at the beginning before the possibility of getting it ‘wrong’ can come to pass. How do I change from being comfortable to being actively curious enough to move? In my head I have decided that NOW is the time I will do it. I go to sleep, I get up and hey presto, my mind wanders away from the uncomfortable and into my same old routine. Any thoughts that do surface get squished into the ‘to do’ list for tomorrow. Tbh, that’s a pretty long list at the minute…

Now don’t get me wrong, I know I have some very good company with me right now, many people have this dilemma and come to the same response as me. It’s why we put up with the boring jobs because we all know that ‘someday soon’ we won’t be there, we’ll be pursuing our dream of ‘whatevertheheckiwasputonthisplanetfor’ and finally our real lives will start…Ugh, it’s so sad to see it in writing because the answer is so obvious. Someday never comes if you don’t move on from what you’re doing today and do something different.

I want some day now. I want to travel and explore the world with my creative practice and share this with everyone and make people’s lives better but I have to start with me. The me right now is standing on page one of the book she wants to write with a whole wheelbarrow full of tools she’s been hoarding but never using.

I had this thought the other day when walking to my work…” If I don’t do it, it won’t exist for me.” If I don’t change my routine, it will never be full of the new things I want to exist in my world. I will never experience them. I will never ever have them. Not a one.

Mindfulness is one of these things. Chapter One: Learn to be Mindful…How do I do this again?

I’m starting with the book ‘Wherever you go there you are.’ by Jon Kabat-Zinn (it was the first one that looked interesting in my library). I need to get some starting pointers and i can’t get it all from pinterest. I also want to follow some blogs that talk about Mindfulness so if anyone that manages to get to the end of this blog post (I realise it’s quite lengthy right now) has any recommendations, please fire away in the comments section below!

Phew, I needed to get that out there! I hopefully won’t emotionally rant too much on this blog but if anyone is feeling the same as me right now, it would be a real comfort to hear from you in the comments section!

 

 

 

 

 

What’s it all about then?

Introducing BlogCat!all-about-1-laura-mossop

I now see that a blog is not just for a rainy wednesday afternoon but for life if you let it. I started this blog a few months back and have posted a few times, figured out the template i’d chosen, uploaded some pictures to try and make it look like my kind of home. Somewhere i’d like to hang out if i was wandering the internet. I’m still at the bricks and mortar stages with this blog but my mind keeps spinning ideas of what I want to write about, skills I could learn and experiences to share with you all. It won’t leave me alone but I hadn’t made room in my routine for it. It’s like a cat at the bottom of my garden, staring at me through my kitchen window, waiting for me to add a catflap to the backdoor so it could come in and be part of my life.

What my blogcat keeps meowing at me to write about are fun things that I want to get into the habit if doing or even try once. I want to keep a sketch diary about my life, I want to make notes as I walk through my environments to help my art, I want to experiment with different techniques, find books by other artists and explore their styles and advice. I want to go on long walks with interesting people, explore new cities and capture the feeling it gives me. I want to figure out this UrbanSketching thing and then help others figure it out aswell. I want to help share information I find, as i’m continuously researching into new areas. Basically, I want this blog to be my home with a library full of my stories and my readers to be wandering cats looking for a lovely place to warm up and stay.

I also want to be a wandering cat and visit other blogs and meet new blogcat friends who like to travel, create art and practice mindfulness. I’m just starting to learn how to incorporate this philosophy into my thoughts, so finding others is going to be  helpful in keeping me going on track.

So I need to build. I’m currently reading the instructions ( part of my procrastination habit guys, its useful but don’t be fooled. No one needs to read 5 books on blogging before actually starting….). I’ve signed up to WordPress’s University course on the fundamentals to help give me an initial kick start. I’m looking at my normal routine and finding time to protect, time where i can squirrel myself away and just focus on creating something that brings me joy.

I recently read an article about how blogging is dying. Social media is thriving but long blog posts are not as common due to the new platforms available that places higher emphasis on the bitesize pieces for readers to digest. I sat and read my facebook feed the other day and afterwards I had a list of maybe 10 pieces of small sized, random chunks of information that don’t really connect up to much. Half of them I didn’t really care to learn about anyway but had a catchy title that hooked me in. The other half I found vaguely interesting and there was maybe 2 bitesize bits of information that I actually wanted to remember. Bitesize media platforms make you full but not on quality and is a really tiring experience to me.

I’m late getting into the blogging game but I intend to enjoy my experience in creating my home here.